Saturday, December 28, 2013

Digital Spy cut the branch from underneath themselves

DigitalSpy want us to get excited:

12 albums to get excited about in 2014:
The very next word in that headline?
Ooh, DigitalSpy. You're asking us to really calibrate our sense of excitement in the micrometres, aren't you?

2013 Steps To Nowhere: September

The real fallout of the Rolling Stone "terrorist" issue: Turns out RS only sells 6,000-odd copies on newsstands. NME tried a micropayment experiment.

the Morrissey/Penguin 'spat' turned out to be a publicity spat. Meanwhile, The Smiths hounded This Charming Charlie off the internet.

The Mail had an exclusive: Justin Bieber doesn't exist.

Jessica Simpson was jealous of Kate Windsor, presumably because people bought magazines with her on. Lee Ryan warned that he will one day have his revenge.

Peter Saville brought something less than his a-game to designing Kanye West's logo.

Five Star will now play your barbecue. Britney Spears has got a regular gig in a burger bar.

Godspeed You, Black Emperor weren't especially thrilled to win the Polaris prize.

Bob Geldof is heading for space and into London with his flock of sheep. Meanwhile, Bono suggested paying low taxes was ok, because it was somehow a cultural thing.

Ministry Of Sound tried to argue that the ordering of tracks on its compilations were somehow copyright. Alanis Morissette was heading for court, too.

James Arthur was hoping for a long, happy career.

Vince Gill took on the Westboro Baptist Church.

Rebuilding: Planet Bluegrass

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Steps To Nowhere: August

Miley Cyrus did that thing with her butt.

In the battle between the establishment and skateboarders, Billy Bragg very much IS the man. When it comes to buying drugs, Robin Thicke very much IS the mark.

When Kelly Rowland got lost at sea, god saved her by delivering telephone infrastructure.

The poor sales of Johnny Borrell's debut solo album even saw his own label mocking him. Brandy played to a nearly empty venue, which she then tried to explain away.

Lady GaGa issued instructions on how to listen to her new album in order to derive the maximum disappointment. The Cult asked for phones to be switched off, forcibly.

PJ Proby pondered why the DWP hounded him. Megan Washington complained the airline she was paid to promote mentioned it. Mel C was outraged on Matt Cardle's behalf.

Teignbridge Council reckoned Muse could do their jobs. Doncaster Rovers signed one of out One Direction. Doctor Who owes a debt to Clare Grogan.

Bing kicked "pirates" out its search index. Bad news if anyone ever uses Bing to search for pirated content. Or, indeed, at all. Comcast thought mentioning you could pay for the content might work.

All the radio stations are owned by Nazis. Also, Beyonce is a diva.

Someone tried to sell Macca's old pants. Pete Doherty tried to sell off his own old pants.

Spotify's CEO could sense profits just around the corner. Ke$ha already had a payday after playing a fair.

Lady GaGa advises you to ignore all the bloggers.

Returning: The Flatmates
Retiring: Linda Rondstadt

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Steps To Nowhere: July

The Black Keys sponsored a little league team. The guy who founded Groupon made an album. Is this the right way round?

Digital sales in the US slipped back for the first time ever. To help, the music industry invented the Promo Hutt, an idea so bad I'm starting to think I might have dreamed it. And Thom Yorke took his less popular tracks off Spotify.

The BNP took a Manics track as their soundtrack. The one about shooting fascists, unfortunately. I say "unfortunately", I mean "hilariously".

When Lester Chambers dedicated a song to crime victim Trayvon Martin, a woman from the crowd set about him. When Rolling Stone put a current affairs story about terrorism on the cover, people attacked them for glorfying terrorism.

Daft Punk not making Get Lucky condoms no bar to Durex turning it into a marketing story. Katy Perry got in a tangle with a hair care company.

Judge Jules turned back to the law.

Nick Cave wrote a sequel to Gladiator. It is, as yet, unmade. John Secada felt underused and so sued.

Robert DeNiro and Jay-Z fell out. Then Jay-Z went to have a look at the Magna Carta.

Lauryn Hill went inside.

Leaving: Westwood and The Times Of India

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 Steps To Nowhere: June

Polly Harvey got the MBE.

Florence, out of Florence And The Machine is going to be in Star Wars. Possibly. Har Mar Superstar was not joining the Replacements. Definitely.

Peter Andre was threatening to leave East Grinstead and Ed Sheeran moved off to Nashville.

Glastonbury happened. The main concern? Who was that guy with the iPad during Nile Roger's set? But then everyone started to complain about Rolling Stones being described as old, despite this being a joke that dates back to the 1970s.

Lou Reed went to Ohio, and had one of Laurie Anderson's livers inserted into him.

Liam Gallagher like Emeli Sande, like most semi-retired men do. He also set the story straight about stealing Idris Elba's hat. But even that couldn't persuade people to go out to see him play live.

The long held belief that Warner Chappell owns Happy Birthday was put to the test.

The New York Times ran a story about the resurgence of vinyl, nearly twenty years after its first story on the resurgence of vinyl.

We've got a long way through the year. Time to remember why Bono is terrible

You know what's wrong with The Voice? The people the judges choose to win. Not the judges, obviously.

Leaving: Kim Deal out the Pixies
Closing: Songbird
Pausing: Bloc Party
Launching: iRadio
Relaunching: MySpace
Swapping: HMV and Foot Locker flagship stores

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Iron Maiden visit their non-paying fans

The headline on this citeworld story is a little alarming:

How Iron Maiden found its worst music pirates -- then went and played for them
It suggests that they turned up at the house of a bloke who had downloaded all their albums and then played a gig in his kitchen - which would be scary, and almost certainly lead to being issued with noise violation tickets.

The idea that the stuff you download will be enacted in your living room would probably kill torrent traffic off - especially as far as bukake videos go.

Instead, it's actually a story about how Iron Maiden discovered that their music was being downloaded enthusiastically in South America. Not bought, but downloaded. Rather than follow the usual route of traipsing over to the lawyer's offices, the band (or rather the legally-incorporated company that the band now is) booked flights to South America, and toured the arse out of the continent:
And in a positive cycle, Maiden's online fanbase grew. According to Musicmetric, in the 12 months ending May 31, 2012, the band attracted more than 3.1 million social media fans. After its Maiden England world tour, which ran from June 2012 to October 2013, Maiden's fan base grew by five million online fans, with a significant increase in popularity in South America.
When life gives you lemons, in other words, you should get the data underlying those lemons, and work out how to use them to sell more lemons back to the... oh, you get the point.

[Thanks to Michael M for the tip]

2013 Steps To Nowhere: May

Gennaro Castaldo left the HMV to work his magic with the BPI.

Eurovision happened. The Spectator decided it was all the BBC's fault.

Someone tried to see a gig at Venue Cymru, only to be set a pop quiz by the bouncers. They lost. Omarion's security were accused of making people fight.

RIAA attempt to introduce certificates for streaming but more for their benefit than anyone else's. But it's not quite as empty a gesture as blocking file sharing sites.

Liam Gallagher's kids find him as embarassing as the rest of us. Macauly Culkin moved in with Pete Doherty.

Gus Wenner took over the Rolling Stone website, based on his skills and not because it's his dad's business. Harry Styles can't rely on his Dad, so plans to marry into royalty instead.

Radio One is losing listeners all over the shop. Perhaps not playing Robbie Williams is part of the fightback?

When The Man tried to stop moshing, Ellie Goulding said mosh on. When Tesco got caught selling sexist greeting cards, Steve Brookstein stepped in to defend the supermarket. He was paid in unsold horsemeat for his trouble.

Brian May thinks judging TV talent shows is beneath Tom Jones.

Rihanna was unamused to see her face in TopShop on tshirts and went to court. Adam Levine didn't like a phone vote outcome, and somehow ended up having to prove his patriotism.

Pete Waterman called the Rilling Stoned old.

Closing: All Tomorrows Parties, Hop Festival
Bust: Blue
Splitting: Tame Impala

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Steps To Nowhere: April

Bobby Gillespie's critique of how capitalism is killing youth culture might have had more weight if he hadn't been doing it as part of a TopShop promo. The Stone Roses' triumph at Coachella might have had more weight if anyone had heard of them. Kasabian's insistence that they should be headlining Glastonbury might have more weight if they were good enough.

Gennaro Castaldo waved off the Bracknell HMV.

Chris Brown named a company after himself, and then tried to pretend he hadn't. Rick Ross did a rape song, and then tried to pretend he hadn't. Reebok didn't believe him.

It upsets Liam Gallagher when people criticise him, the poor lamb.

Thatcher died, and suddenly a song from the Wizard Of Oz became popular. Living politician Vince Cable put £200,000 into creating anti-piracy measures that won't work. UK gun laws do work quite well, though - apparently well enough for Michael Jackson.

Muse muddled up their Japanese flags.

Justin Bieber left his monkey behind and then tried to claim Anne Frank.

Radio 2 discovered its listeners like Coldplay.

Closing: The Gibson Ampitheater
Launching: Twitter Music
Splitting: JLS

[Part of 2013 Steps To Nowhere]

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 Steps To Nowhere: March

Justin Bieber took to the stage late, and hoped God would sort it for him. Michelle Shocked railed against gay marriage, and then tried to say she was just pretending to be someone else. The Osmonds fought amongst themselves.

People with small dicks still upset by Short Dick Man, all these years later. You know who's not got a small dick? Ne-Yo. He's huge and considerate.

The Stone Roses were out to get Azealia Banks. She believed. Suede said something gentle about boybands. Robbie Williams took it personally.

Radio 2 DJs rebelled against being marked out of 10. As if things weren't bad enough for Dermot O'Leary, who had to shutter a fish shop.

The Cheeky Girls illuminated the immigration debate.

GWAR launched a table sauce while Gucci Mane experimented with a name change.

What could be worse than a Lennon musical? One put together by John Power, perhaps.

Bonnie Tyler for Eurovision. How could that go wrong? China would make no room for Kraftwerk, though.

Morrissey doesn't like much of anything. It's making him sick.

TMZ killed off Lil'Wayne. Also not dead: music, not killed by filesharing.

Splitting: My Chemical Romance, Girls Aloud, Razorlight
Returning: Atomic Kitten
Closing: Done Waiting

[Part of 2013 Steps To Nowhere]

This week just gone

The ten most-read December stories:

1. Dead: Ronnie Biggs
2. Charlotte Church takes down Louise Mensch
3. Blur launch a flat cap
4. Miley Cyrus ruins someone's anniversary
5. Morrissey cuts boyfriend; runs auction for PETA
6. RIP: Junior Murvin
7. Video: Swervedriver release new stuff
8. Tommy Vance returns to radio
9. Gary Barlow day is ruined
10. When is a Mandela joke not a Mandela joke?

Frankly, people were giving up releasing new stuff for the year:

Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - Under The Covers 3

Download Under The Covers

Ringo Deathstarr - Gods Dream